• WordNet 3.6
    • n AN an associate degree in nursing
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Mitral Paintings in the Ruins of an Ancient House At Kahun Mitral Paintings in the Ruins of an Ancient House At Kahun
Statue in Rose-coloured Granite of the Pharaoh AnÛ, in the GÎzeh Museum Statue in Rose-coloured Granite of the Pharaoh AnÛ, in the GÎzeh Museum
Attack Upon an Egyptian Fortress by Troops Of Various Arms Attack Upon an Egyptian Fortress by Troops Of Various Arms
an Asiatic Chief is Presented to KhnÛmhotpÛ By Nofirhoptu, and by Khiti, the Superintendent of The Huntsmen an Asiatic Chief is Presented to KhnÛmhotpÛ By Nofirhoptu, and by Khiti, the Superintendent of The Huntsmen
An Ocean Policeman by Day An Ocean Policeman by Day
An Ocean Policeman by Night An Ocean Policeman by Night

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The word "toy" comes from an old English word that means "tool."
    • conj An If; -- a word used by old English authors. "Nay, an thou dalliest, then I am thy foe."
    • An ăn This word is properly an adjective, but is commonly called the indefinite article. It is used before nouns of the singular number only, and signifies one, or any, but somewhat less emphatically. In such expressions as “twice an hour,” “once an age,” a shilling an ounce (see 2d A, 2), it has a distributive force, and is equivalent to each every.An is used before a word beginning with a vowel sound; as, an enemy, an hour. It in also often used before h sounded, when the accent of the word falls on the second syllable; as, an historian, an hyena, an heroic deed. Many writers use a before h in such positions. Anciently an was used before consonants as well as vowels.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The pound key (#) on the keyboard is called an octothorpe
    • n an The indefinite article. As between the two forms of this word, the general rule is that an be used before an initial vowel-sound of the following word, and a before an initial consonant-sound: thus, an eagle, an answer, also an hour (the h being silent); and a bird, a youth, a wonder, also a use, a eulogy, a one (these three words being pronounced as if they began with y or w). But an is still sometimes used before a consonant sound, especially before the weak consonant h; and in written style, and in more formal spoken style, an is by many (especially in England) required before the initial h of a wholly unaccented syllable, as if such an h were altogether silent: thus, an hotel, but a hostess; an historian, but a history; an hypothesis, but a hypothetical. In colloquial speech, and increasingly in writing, a is used in all these cases alike. As by its derivation, so also in meaning, an or a is a weaker or less distinct one. In certain phrases, and with certain nouns, it still has nearly the value of one: thus, two of a trade; they were both of a size; a hundred, a thousand, a million. Usually, as the indefinite article proper, it points out, in a loose way, an individual as one of a class containing more of the same kind: thus, give me a pint of milk; he ate an apple; they built a house; we see a man; the earth has a moon; our sun is a fixed star. Hence, before a proper noun, it implies extension of the name or character of the individual to a class: thus, he is a Cicero in eloquence; they built up a new England in America — that is, a person like Cicero, a country like England. A is used, apparently, before a plural noun, if few or many (now only great many, or good many) stands between: thus, a few apples, a great many soldiers; but the plural noun is here historically a genitive partitive dependent on few, many. It is used distributively, or with the meaning of each or every, in such phrases as two dollars a piece, three times a day, five cents an ounce; but a or an is here historically a preposition. See a. An or a always precedes the noun to which it belongs, and in general also any other adjective word qualifying the same noun; but what and such come before it. thus, what a shame! such a beauty; and so also any adjective preceded by how, or so, or as, or too: thus, how great a calamity, so rare a case, as good a man, too early a death. Many a is a phrase of peculiar meaning. See many.
    • an Coordinate use: And; same as and, A.
    • an Conditional use: If; same as and, B.
    • an An earlier form of on, retained until the last century in certain phrases, as an edge, an end, now only on edge, on end; in present use only as an unfelt prefix an- or reduced a-. See an-, a-.
    • an A prefix of Anglo-Saxon origin, the same as on- and a-, occurring unfelt in anent, anon, anan, aneal, aneal, etc., and with accent in anvil (but in this and some other words perhaps originally and-: see an).
    • an A prefix of Anglo-Saxon origin, a reduced form of and- (which see), occurring unfelt in answer.
    • an A prefix of Latin origin, usually an assimilation of ad- before n-, as in annex, annul, announce, etc., but sometimes representing Latin in-, as in anoint, annoy.
    • an A prefix of Latin origin, a reduced form of ambi-, occurring (unfelt in English) in ancile, ancipital, anfractuous, etc.
    • an A prefix of Greek origin, the fuller form of ἀ- privative (a-) preserved before a vowel, as in anarchy, anarthrous, anecdote, anomaly, etc.
    • an A prefix of Greek origin, the form of ana- before a vowel, as in anode.
    • an A suffix of Latin origin, forming adjectives which are or may be also used as nouns. It expresses various adjective relations, being used especially with proper names to form local or patrial adjectives or nouns, as Roman, Italian, Grecian, American, Fijian, etc.; terms indicating party, sect, or system, as Arian, Lutheran, Wesleyan, Mohammedan, Copernican, Linnean, etc., so in Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Unitarian, etc.; and in zoology, to form adjectives and nouns from names of classes or orders, as mammalian, reptilian, etc. As an English formative it is confined chiefly to words which may be made to assume a Latin type, having here also the euphonic variant -ian, especially in proper adjectives, as in Darwinian, Johnsonian, etc.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: An average city dog lives approximately three years longer than an average country dog
    • adj An an one: the indefinite article, used before words beginning with the sound of a vowel.
    • conj An an if.
    • ***


  • Roland Barthes
    “The face of Garbo is an Idea, that of Hepburn an Event.”
  • Friedrich Engels
    Friedrich Engels
    “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”
  • John H. Holcomb
    John H. Holcomb
    “You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee.”
  • Andre Malraux
    Andre Malraux
    “Between eighteen and twenty, life is like an exchange where one buys stocks, not with money, but with actions. Most men buy nothing.”
  • Ibo Proverb
    Ibo Proverb
    “What an elder sees sitting; the young can't see standing.”
  • Theodore Roosevelt
    “Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster.”


An apple a day keeps the doctor away - Eating healthy food keeps you healthy.
An Englishman's home is his castle - (UK) This means that what happens in a person's home or private life is their business and should not be subject to outside interference.
An old flame - An old flame is a person that somebody has had an emotional, usually passionate, relationship with, who is still looked on fondly and with affection.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - This expression means that is is better to try to avoid problems in the first place, rather than trying to fix them once they arise.
Bat an eyelid - If someone doesn't bat an eyelid, they don't react or show any emotion when surprised, shocked, etc.
Blink of an eye - If something happens in the blink of an eye, it happens so fast it is almost impossible to notice it.
Constitution of an ox - If someone has the constitution of an ox, they are less affected than most people by things like tiredness, illness, alcohol, etc.
Eye for an eye - This is an expression for retributive justice, where the punishment equals the crime.
Fight an uphill battle - When you fight an uphill battle, you have to struggle against very unfavourable circumstances.
Go fry an egg - (USA) This is used to tell someone to go away and leave you alone.
In an instant - If something happens in an instant, it happens very rapidly.
In the twinkling of an eye - If something happens in the twinkling of an eye, it happens very quickly.
It cost an arm and a leg - If something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive indeed.
It's an ill wind that blows no good - This is said when things have gone wrong; the idea being that when bad things happen, there can also be some positive results.
Keep an eye out - If you keeep an eye out for something, you are watching carefully to see if it happens.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Shortened fr. and, OE. an,., and, sometimes and if, in introducing conditional clauses, like Icel. enda, if, the same word as and,. Prob. and, was originally pleonastic before the conditional clause
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A form of And.


In literature:

It was an insect of considerable size, being full an inch in length, with an elongated oval body, and a small flat head.
"Popular Adventure Tales" by Mayne Reid
And so delicate are the hands of the people who move them, that every puppet was an Italian, and did exactly what an Italian does.
"The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete" by John Forster
An old term for an officer brought up at the Royal Navy Academy at Portsmouth, afterwards named the Royal Naval College.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
Fair an' foolish, black an' proud, lang an' lazy, little an' loud.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
I rounds me up Lily an' meets up wid Lady Luck, an' someday I sees ol' Cap'n Jack agin', an' den I quits worryin'.
"Lady Luck" by Hugh Wiley
Dud, you an' Tom an' Big Bill go take a look-see an' make sure.
"The Fighting Edge" by William MacLeod Raine
But I fixed up a tol'able description, an' left out the freckles an' the temper, an' told her it was fat an' well an' a boy.
"Friendship Village" by Zona Gale
Nicholas then joined in an ultimatum with England and France for an immediate stop of the Turkish outrages in Greece.
"A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year" by Edwin Emerson
I retched an' got my hat an' coat, An' I beat de Devil runnin'.
"Negro Folk Rhymes" by Thomas W. Talley
An' that's how I got figgerin' after awhiles, an' so I ups an' has it out squar'.
"The Watchers of the Plains" by Ridgewell Cullum

In poetry:

When apples an' pears
Turn yellow an' red,
Buy thi table,
Chairs an' bed.
"Luver's Calendar" by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe
When apples an’ pears
Turn yellow an’ red,
Buy thi table,
Chairs an’ bed.
"A Luver’s Calendar" by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe
He has sent to the wood
For hathorn an fun,
An he has tane that gay lady,
An ther he did her burne.
"The Laily Worm And The Mackerel Of The Sea" by Anonymous Americas
As I cam on, an farther on,
An doun an by Harlaw,
They fell fu close on ilka side;
Sic fun ye never saw.
"Traditionary Version" by Andrew Lang
As I cam on, an farther on,
An doun an by Harlaw,
They fell fu close on ilka side;
Sic fun ye never saw.
"The Battle Of Harlaw" by Anonymous British
We're older nor we used to be,
But that's noa reason why
We owt to mope i' misery,
An whine an grooan an sigh.
"Sixty An Sixteen" by John Hartley

In news:

An autopsy has found that a Guantanamo Bay prisoner who died in September took an overdose of medication in an apparent suicide, a US official said Thursday.
Waco police were working Thursday to determine what led to an exchange of gunfire on an East Waco street, leaving one man dead and another charged with murder in an incident that members of both families said didn't make sense.
Enter Starlet, an upcoming film about an unlikely friendship between a 21-year-old girl and an elderly woman.
There's a surveyor, an audio/video producer, a financial adviser, an analytical chemist, and an IT manager for Macy's.
In both versions, an awkward florist opts to enlist the help of an oversized, man-eating plant in an effort to win the girl of his dreams.
An Aeroflot passenger jet made an emergency landing in Iceland after receiving an anonymous bomb threat.
An Indiana high school girls basketball team routed an opponent 107-2 this week, prompting an official with the state prep sports association to say he never wants to see anything so one-sided again.
MARTINSVILLE An unexpected estimate of an additional $400,000 in expenses has caused the Morgan County Health Insurance Trust to reverse an earlier decision to switch re-insurance.
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) No sooner had US authorities filed rape and murder charges against ex-soldier Steven D Green than an account of the incident appeared on an Islamist Web site in the name of an insurgent group, the Mujahedeen Army.
Bertrand Piccard, a 54-year-old psychiatrist and balloonist, took off before dawn from Madrid in the Solar Impulse, an aircraft as big as an Airbus A340 but as light as an average family car.
The Football Association has confirmed it has opened an investigation into an incident at the end of the Manchester derby when an object was thrown from the crowd and hit United's Rio Ferdinand.
DUBLIN—The widower of an Indian woman who died in an Irish hospital after being refused an abortion plans to sue Ireland 's government in the European Court of Human Rights.
Steve Hunter, an original member of Alice Cooper 's band and an accomplished solo artist, has been hospitalized in Phoenix after suffering from an irregular heartbeat.
An investigation is under way into two attempted kidnappings that occurred within an hour of each other near an Anaheim school.
"An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.".

In science:

We define an extension in V of A by M to be a triple hχ, E , πi such that E is an algebra of V, π : E → A is an onto homomorphism, and χ : πRes P → κ∗ is an isomorphism of pointed overalgebras, where P is the underlying pointed A-overalgebra of M and κ = ker π .
Abelian extensions of algebras in congruence-modular varieties
An → An+1 are coface maps and σ i : An → An−1 are codegenerecies.
Equivariant Cyclic Cohomology of H-Algebras
This is because if no edge of an edge disjoint subset touches v , this edge disjoint subset is not maximal (it can be completed with {v , w}), and if an edge disjoint subset has an edge that touches v , replacing this edge by {v , w} yields an edge disjoint subset of the same size.
Core percolation in random graphs: a critical phenomena analysis
The Hamiltonian of this random anisotropy model (RAM) reads:4 JR,R′ ~SR ~SR′ − D0 XR H = − XR,R′ where ~SR is an m-component vector on a lattice site R, JR,R′ is an exchange interaction, D0 is an anisotropy strength, and ˆxR is a unit vector pointing in the local (quenched) random direction of an uniaxial anisotropy.
Phase Transition in the Random Anisotropy Model
However, the main difficulty is that both proofs contain an operation of taking an irreducible submodule of an An -module.
Algorithmic proofs of two theorems of Stafford